What is sitting in your fridge and pantry before break? What perishable items are you frantically trying to eat before you go home so you don’t have to throw them away? Common leftover items include: starches (rice, ramen, pasta), tomato sauce, peanut butter, apples, baking goods, oats, deli meat, cheese, mustard, bread, soup and chicken.
When in doubt, you can never go wrong with pasta and tomato sauce for dinner. And for a finals study session snack, put peanut butter on everything: bread, apples, celery, bananas or even just a spoon. If you have grown tired of the plain ham sandwich, try adding a slice of cheese and mustard and grilling it. Paired with a cup of tomato soup, a ham and grilled cheese sandwich is a simple and warm choice on a cold night.
If you have extra time to cook, here are two other recipes to try to clean out your pantry and fridge.
Stir-fry is a college student’s best friend when it comes time to clean out the fridge. Throw whatever starch, protein and vegetables you have into a pan, douse it in soy sauce and call it a meal. It’s the college version of a crock-pot dinner because, while both are a one-pot catch-all for leftovers, stir-fry takes a fraction of the time to cook.
•Whatever starch you have (rice, ramen, pasta).
•Any frozen vegetables you bought on a health kick, but failed to eat.
•Chicken or any other protein.
•Collection of soy sauce packets you have accumulated for a semester’s worth of trips to Sushi Cafe and Asian Bistro.
Instructions: Cook rice, ramen or pasta according to the package instructions. Microwave frozen vegetables. Cook chicken in a skillet and then add the starch, vegetables and soy sauce. Let everything cook together for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Oatmeal Apple Muffins (recipe from aggieskitchen.com)
These make a perfect to-go breakfast, afternoon snack or Christmas gift for your suitemates.
2 cups rolled oats (not quick-cook).
1 1/2 cups milk (I used non-fat).
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour.
1 TB baking powder.
1/2 tsp. salt.
1/4 tsp. cinnamon.
2 large eggs, lightly beaten.
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar.
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly.
1 tsp. vanilla extract.
1/2 cup finely chopped apple, optional.
Instructions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin. In a medium bowl, mix the oats and the milk and set aside for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients, making a well in the center. Stir in the liquid ingredients and the oatmeal mixture until just combined, being careful not to over-mix. Fold in chopped apple. Bake for 16-18 minutes.